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The situationists were riding a 1950-60s wave of optimism about the potential of "automation" to reduce the hours of necessary labour. They didn't expect capitalists to willingly donate this freed up time to the workers, but the council-communist revolution they expected to confiscate it was unrealistic (though for a few weeks in May 68 it didn't feel so). More naive still was their faith in the preference of the working masses for a life of artistic/creative leisure over one of bourgeois luxury. Even so Jospin's Socialist government did achieve the 35-hour week in 2000, showing this aspiration wasn't entirely dead in France (though never alive in the Anglo-US Protestant/neoliberal zone).
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2010 on desire and duty in The Big Society at potlatch is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 15, 2010